Our Breakup Was Devastating, But It Was The Best Thing That Could Have Happened To Me

My last relationship was a mess. I loved him, he tolerated me; I wanted commitment, he left. We had a kid together, he doesn’t see her. As devastating and upsetting as the whole thing was at the time, I now realize that him breaking up with me was literally the best thing that could have ever happened. I couldn’t be more grateful!

  1. I never realized how badly he destroyed my self-esteem and behavior until months afterward. The strange thing about dating a guy who’s only lukewarm at best to you is how badly it affects your self-esteem. It eats away at you. You begin wondering why he isn’t totally head over heels for you. You wonder why you’re not good enough. You wonder why you’re girlfriend but not wife material. It slowly sucks out your soul, and it’s only after months or even years of healing that you realize how bad it can be.
  2. It took months to realize how emotionally abusive the relationship was getting to be. This was an issue on both sides. I literally had to browbeat and guilt him into hanging out with me, which honestly was not my proudest moment. He was inadvertently being abusive by just letting stuff drag out and making me feel like I had to vie for the chance to be part of his family. In other words, we both brought out the worst in each other, even if we didn’t intend to be that way.
  3. If I was honest with myself, he was a total waste of my time, tears, and money. One of the things that really made me sorry I ever dated him was the fact that it was really not an even relationship. I never got the kind of pampering I gave to him. Had I just never dated him, I’d probably have a lot more money in the bank—and a lot less hurt.
  4. Trying to force him into committing to me was also a moral issue. I know I’m not fully innocent here. All I ever wanted in relationships was a man to marry me and have a happy, loving relationship with me. I shouldn’t have tried to force that because it only made him resent me. It was just as wrong for me to twist his arm as it was for him to be that way with me. We really weren’t good for each other and it was wise that he left.
  5. There’s also the fact that it’s better for my daughter not to have a toxic parent. This is maybe the best thing to come out of breaking up for me. As much as I wanted her to see me and her birth father together, it’s not for the best because let’s face it, seeing her mom have to argue her worth to her dad wouldn’t be setting a good example.
  6. The breakup also made me realize that we weren’t compatible with one another. His goals and my goals were totally opposite of one another. He never wants to be married, and in all honesty, the more I look back, the more I realized he shouldn’t be married to anyone. He’s not the type to ever have a healthy marriage, primarily because he doesn’t like committed relationships. This means he’d never put in effort to have a committed relationship, either.
  7. Losing him made me realize I was done with the toxic dating scene too. There are only so many times a person can try to cajole, coax, or “sell” the concept of having a committed relationship with them before they say, “Enough’s enough—this is no longer worth it.” After the final burnout, I decided to rethink dating and went for a more business-like approach to the matter of being paired up. The new approach worked out phenomenally well and made me realize him leaving me opened up a position for a better man.
  8. I finally realized I can no longer tolerate people who don’t see my value and treat me accordingly. I used to let things slide, particularly when it came to what people wanted my role to be in their lives. A lot of people, like my ex, wanted me to fit roles in their lives that weren’t beneficial to me but sure as hell were good for them. I’m no longer the type to convince someone of my value, and I’m no longer the type of person to hang out with people who don’t treat me the way I want to be treated. It was a learning experience.
  9. Him leaving also prevented years more of misery. I don’t want to be with someone who didn’t see my value, and if he had stayed, the self-esteem drain would have continued. Within a year, I probably would have ended up losing what shreds of sanity I had left. I’ve seen what happens when people prolong terrible relationships hoping things will work out. They don’t do anything but kill both members of the relationship slowly.
  10. Lastly, it made me realize that I deserved better. No one deserves to end up in tears after showering someone with love and affection. I didn’t deserve that in the least, but that’s what happened thanks to him. I didn’t deserve to be hurt, hidden, and cast aside the way he did to me. He didn’t deserve me either, so maybe it’s for the best if we find someone better suited for both of us anyway.
Ossiana Tepfenhart is a New Jersey based writer and editor with bylines in Mashed, Newsbreak, Good Men Project, YourTango, and many more. She’s also the author of a safe travel guide for LGBTQIA+ people available on Amazon.

She regularly writes on her popular Medium page and posts on TikTok and Instagram @ossianamakescontent.